Charlotte Real Estate: Nine Steps To Selling Your House

A gorgeous Charlotte home.

So, you own a home in Charlotte, North Carolina or one of the surrounding areas and you’ve decided you want to sell.

Hopefully you’ve arrived at your decision by considering all of the pros and cons of handing over the keys to your house to someone else and moving on to a new home.
Maybe your growing family needs more space or you want to move into a better school district.  Perhaps you are looking to downsize or you’re moving to a different area of town — or a different part of the country — for your job.
Whatever your reason is for deciding to sell your house, the basic process is the same, though every transaction has twists and turns along the way.
Steps to Selling Your Home
1.  Hire a knowledgeable and trustworthy Realtor®.  

I recommend hiring someone who is familiar with your neighborhood and your house’s surrounding community.

The Realtor® you choose to work with may or may not have previously sold in your neighborhood, and that’s okay as long as he has a good feel for the area and has access to all of the information he would need concerning your community.

Make sure he can talk about more than just the house, but also about the experience of living in your neighborhood.

2.  Give your agent a tour of the home.

Your agent may want to look at the home without you hovering over her shoulder initially, so prepare a list of everything that is unique or special which adds value to your property and then compare notes.

You want to be sure she doesn’t miss anything, but she may notice some things you haven’t picked up on.

3.  Discuss the marketing plan for selling your home.

Every Realtor® will post your listing on multiple listing services (MLS) and syndicated real estate websites, but what else will he do to actively promote your home?  Will he utilize social media to promote your property not just to his immediate network, but to the masses?

Does your agent have a social media presence beyond Facebook?  Check out his LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest profiles if he uses them.  Does he have a blog (like It’s Jimmy On…) with a solid readership and does he promote it?

Does your agent have a professional Facebook page from which he can run paid ads and promote posts to increase your listing’s visibility?  Will he hold an Open House or a Broker’s Open and if so, when?  Which neighbors and neighborhoods will he market to, and how?

Does your agent hire a professional photographer or take pictures himself?  Does he use video and will he blog about your home and post a tour on YouTube?  Does he have a strong, local database of past clients, vendors, real estate agents, friends and family he regularly communicates with?  Is he connected with local businesses?  And what does he do that sets him apart from every other agent in your market?

4.  Determine your home’s list price and go for it!

Your Realtor® should be familiar with comparable properties, aka, “comps,” which have recently sold in your neighborhood or nearby from which he can identify a suitable market value price range.

Review properties which have sold in your neighborhood in the last six months as well as those that are currently on the market.  Also, look at other homes outside of your neighborhood, yet in the same immediate area, which your potential buyer will consider to gain insight into your property’s market value.
Now here’s the catch:  Your agent does not determine how much your home is worth.  Only the market can do that.  But your agent can, and should, offer guidance in determining a reasonable price range based on your goals.  
If you need to get maximum price from your sale and don’t need to sell quickly, then you may decide to price on the higher end.  If time is of the essence and you can afford to sell for a little less, you may price the property slightly below market value.  Oftentimes in a seller’s market, pricing the home slightly below market value can drive the price skyward due to multiple offers to purchase the property.  
Don’t overthink it, but make an educated decision and be willing to pivot if you quickly determine you incorrectly priced the property.

However, be warned: statistics show that homes correctly priced at the time of listing sell much more quickly and for a higher price than those which are overpriced at the start and experience one or more price reductions or become stale listings after several months on the market.

5.  Showing your property.

You’ve signed the paperwork and your agent has put her sign in your hard and is actively marketing your property.  If you’ve priced your home smartly and have posted great pictures on MLS, you should begin to start having showings pretty quickly in a healthy real estate market.

This may seem like common sense, but my biggest two pieces of advice are: A) Keep your home clean and presentable at all times and B) Be flexible and accommodating to potential buyers who may want to tour your home when it’s not convenient to you.

6. Receiving and negotiating the offer.

This is the day you have been waiting for!  Someone wants to purchase your house and has submitted an Offer to Purchase and Contract.

In addition to offering a purchase price, the offer will include proposed deposits (Earnest Money Deposit and Due Diligence Fee), important dates (Due Diligence and Closing dates), as well as potential “extras” like requesting a home owner’s warranty paid by the seller, personal property / appliances the buyer would like left behind, and all or part of closing costs to be paid by the seller.

Email me for a sample copy of the current Offer to Purchase and Contract form used by Realtors® in North Carolina if you’d like to see what one looks like.
7. Due diligence period.

This is the time during which the home is under contract but has not yet been closed.  This is also when the potential buyer conducts his / her “due diligence” to inspect the property, formally apply for a loan to purchase your house, and request any desired repairs or monetary concessions (i.e., change of sales price or seller-paid closing costs).  During the due diligence period, the buyer can back
out of his agreement to purchase your home for any reason.

You may need to hire a handyman or
general contractor for home repairs.

Due diligence requests are formally submitted by the buyer’s agent to the seller’s agent using a special form called “Due Diligence Request and Agreement.”  In order to move forward with the sale of the property, both parties must agree on what concessions, if any, are to be made.

I always recommend using a reputable home inspector to thoroughly inspect the home and to prepare a detailed, accurate report and summary of all issues found at the house.  And I don’t care how well cared for your property may be, issues are always found.

Depending upon the severity of the issues and what concessions, if any, have already been made during initial negotiations, the buyer may ask for minor or major repairs and / or additional compensation in the form of closing costs paid by the seller.

The due diligence period is also when the buyer secures financing to purchase the home and the lender conducts an appraisal of the home’s value to confirm the home is being sold at or below market value

Due diligence negotiations can be more difficult and contentious than negotiations to purchase the property, but once the due diligence period has passed, you are in the home stretch and can begin feeling more confident about your property closing.

8. Packing, Moving and Cleaning.

You’ve accepted an offer to purchase your home, you’ve successfully navigated due diligence, and now your are preparing to move out of your current home and (hopefully) into your new one.

Whether you are planning to MIY (move-it-yourself) or hire a moving company, just be sure to plan ahead and to begin packing early.  Ideally, you will be packed up and completely moved out of the house at least a day or two BEFORE closing.

Plan to have the movers arrive in time to pack up all of your belongings in one day (if possible) and have them arrive at your new property in time to completely unload in one day, as well.

You are also required to wipe down and clean your home prior to cleaning, but to minimize the chance of complaints at walk-through and to leave the new home owners with a good feeling, I always advise hiring a professional cleaner to vacuum, dust, and wipe down the entire house, including bathrooms and appliances.

9. Closing Day.

This is the day you’ve been waiting for!  Hopefully the buyers have conducted their final walk-through without any complaints or new requests, their financing has been approved and the necessary funds wired to the closing attorney, and all you have to do is show up to the attorney’s office to sign your name a dozen times and hand over all sets of keys to the new owners of your former home.

If you are like most people selling their primary residence, you may have back-to-back closings in which you sell your old home first and then purchase your new one.

Handing over the keys to your old home
and gaining the keys to your new life.

The process of buying and selling a home can be among the most stressful experiences you will ever go through, but if you’ve hired a good team — Realtor®, Lender, Inspectors, Contractors, Movers, Vendors Attorneys — to help you navigate your way through from beginning to end, the end result is well worth the added stress.

Having a great support team will ease the burden you feel tremendously.

Remember that no two transactions are ever the same.  I have learned over the years to always expect the unexpected.

It is best to be prepared for any situation that could arise and grateful for every smooth transaction.

Good luck and please contact me if you know someone who wants to…BUY A HOME…SELL A HOUSE…or INVEST IN REAL ESTATE!

About the Author:

Jimmy Grappone is a Realtor® living in the Charlotte area for nearly a decade. 

His hobbies include fishing, playing golf, watching football, and exploring the Carolinas.

Jimmy is a licensed Realtor® with Allen Tate Company in North Carolina and South Carolina. 

He is a member of a nationwide and international referral network of the world’s best real estate agents, “Leading Real Estate Companies of the World.”

He is passionate about “Making Home Happen!”
Contact the Author:
Twitter & IG: @jimmygrappone
Phone:  980-298-9385


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